When will the diesel and petrol shortage end? Will there be rationing?

BBC Breakfast compare petrol and diesel prices

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Motorists can’t seem to catch a break at the moment, with forecourts now running out of diesel in parts of the UK after weeks of disruption at oil refineries in England. Now, experts have warned of potential rationing amid a lack of affirmative action from the UK Government to end the protests.

Why are there shortages of fuel?

Shortages have occurred due to a combination of factors.

Climate activists have blocked numerous oil refineries in the south of England, where shortages currently appear to be concentrated.

This crisis has only been made worse by the war in Ukraine, with Russia responsible for some 18 percent of the UK’s diesel supply in 2020.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “There has been a fair degree of social media speculation about fuel supplies and we would like to reassure the public that fuel supplies are coming through and garages are re-stocking.

“It is true there have seen some localised shortages flagged up by AA Patrols but some of that is due to extra demand with the Easter driving season starting and more staycations.

“Currently a combination of greater demand; some drivers changing their filling up habits; Russian invasion of Ukraine; and protests, has led to limited localised shortages.

“However, our 2,700 Patrols have not reported difficulties in obtaining fuel across the country over the weekend despite some isolated shortages.

“If drivers follow their normal filling up patterns, they will find that there are adequate supplies of fuel coming through.”

When will the shortage end?

Just Stop Oil activists have made it clear there are no plans to stop the protests.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is being told to seek nationwide injunctions to stop the protests – but it is currently unclear exactly what plan of action is being taken.

Attorney General Suella Braverman met with cabinet members on Monday to draw up plans with local councils so they can target specific protesters.

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Could rationing be introduced?

According to some in the oil industry, rationing could be on the way for British motorists – but only due to the war in Ukraine.

Dr Amrita Sen from research company Energy Aspects told MPs in March that oil prices could easily rise by 50 percent.

She claimed diesel rationing was already likely in Germany, and raised the prospect of a similar situation developing in the UK.

Dr Sen said: “I think diesel is where we fear rationing could come as soon as end of this month in Germany.

“And I think you are you could absolutely see repercussions of that in the UK as well.

“The price of diesel last week was $180 already, and that’s why some of the rationing in some of the markets could come before even the headline oil price gets to those crazy levels.”

However, fuel rationing has not happened yet in Germany.

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